Homemade Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

filed under: Cakes · Rose + Rosette Cakes on December 14, 2017
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  • The best Carrot Cake Recipe you will ever try. This homemade carrot cake is bursting with flavor and moisture! But one of my favorite things about this cake is (in my opinion) the best cream cheese frosting on the planet.

    Carrot Cake

    Homemade Carrot Cake

    Trying to find a real carrot cake recipe is not as easy as you would think.  My Mother-in-Law was having a big birthday party last Sunday and her only request was a carrot cake from scratch.

    Real carrot cake.  With real ingredients. (No box mixes allowed!) After testing out several recipes, I finally found one that everyone loves and that is now a tradition in our home.

    Easy Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Rosettes!

    For the exterior, I did a version of my original Rosette Cake.

    My beautiful mother-in-law was turning 67 (she really doesn’t look a day over 45!) and so piped out 67 flowers.  Some are with the 1M tip (remember you can always use a 2D tip in place of the 1M) and the rest are with #27 tip from Wilton. (It brought her to tears… if you ever have the opportunity to replicate this for a loved one I highly recommend it!)

    Chunky Carrot Cake From Scratch with Cream Cheese Rosettes!

    How to Make the Best Carrot Cake

    Once you have added the flour to the wet ingredients you want to be very gentle with the batter. I recommend removing the bowl from the stand mixer and mix all dry ingredients in by hand.

    If you do not want to add pineapple, you can add 1/4 more oil and omit the pineapple. You can also make other substitutions or changes like adding sweetened coconut (1/4 cup should do!) or using a little brown sugar.

    Allow the cakes to cool completely before assembling the cake. I like to use a chilled cake for assembly and a room-temperature frosting. You may need to level your cake prior to assembly. (Get detailed instructions on that here.)

    BONUS: One way to make this cake AMAZING (and for the 21+ crowd) is to plump up your raisins in rum or brandy.


    Easy Homemade Carrot Cake Recipe {Best Frosting}

    Cream Cheese Frosting

    This cream cheese frosting is amazing for a few reasons. First, it’s amazingly sweet AND you can pipe with it. If you do not want to pipe out 67 rosettes, you can simply spread it over the cake in glorious swoops. This recipe and a “rustic” design are a match made in heaven!

    The BEST Cream Cheese frosting!

    Tips for the Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting:

    So the ingredients for this frosting are pretty basic. Butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and confectioners sugar. But it’s how you put them together that makes the difference! And it is important that your cream cheese and butter are room temperature. If your cream cheese is chilled it will be lumpy and those lumps are impossible to get out!

    CREAM CHEESE FROSTING FOR PIPING: You will want to get all the wet ingredients combined before adding the sugar. The trick is to NOT overbeat the cream cheese. The more you mix the creamier it gets and the harder it is to pipe. I add my sugar 1 cup at a time so that I can gauge the consistency as I go.

    CREAM CHEESE FOR FROSTING CAKES: When covering a cake with this cream cheese frosting you can beat for 3-5 minutes additional minutes in your stand mixer. This results in the creamiest cream cheese frosting you will ever have.

    Everything about these recipes is perfection.  The flavor of this homemade carrot cake recipe is delightful.  The texture was exquisite. It’s the world’s best!

    I think I just talked myself into making another one. Hope you enjoy this Homemade Carrot Cake recipe!

    5 from 18 votes
    Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
    Prep Time
    20 mins
    Cook Time
    1 hr
    Total Time
    1 hr 20 mins

    This amazing carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is going to be your new family favorite!

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: Carrot Cake, cream cheese frosting
    Servings: 12
    Calories: 464 kcal
    Author: Amanda Rettke
    Carrot Cake
    • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
    • 1 1/4 cup (250g) vegetable oil
    • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
    • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 2 3/4 cup (352g) all-purpose flour
    • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
    • 2 tsp. baking soda
    • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 cup raisins
    • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
    • 2 1/4 cups finely grated carrots
    • 1/2 cup pineapple, can be from a can or freshly diced
    Cream Cheese Frosting
    • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 113g) salted butter
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 4 cups (512g) confectioners sugar
    Carrot Cake
    1. Heat the oven to 350°F.
    2. Prepare two 8-inch round baking pans. (Can also do three 7-inch round cake pans) Butter pans generously or spray with baking spray.
    3. Beat the sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs in mixer until it is a light yellow, about 3 minutes.
    4. In a separate bowl sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. (Double sifting is recommended)
    5. With the mixer on low speed, slowly and gently add in the dry ingredients. Mix until JUST combined. (Can also mix by hand!)
    6. Remove bowl from mixer and fold raisins, nuts, carrots, and pineapple.
    7. Divide the batter equally between the pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. A few crumbs are what you want for a MOIST cake!
    8. Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
    Cream Cheese Frosting
    1. Place room temperature butter, cream cheese, and vanilla into mixer and blend for 1-2 minutes on medium until fully incorporated. 
    2. Add powder sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting is light and creamy. Whip cream cheese frosting for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. 

    3. Cover cake in frosting.

    Recipe Video

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  • Barb says:

    Came out better than any carrot cake recipe I’ve ever tried. Easy to make …bonus.

  • Terri A Hernandez says:

    I just love the recipes. I enjoying reading them. Thanks

  • Gracie mario says:

    This is the most moist flaverfull carrot cake i,ve evere taste.. Its my to go recipe… Everyone love it and they ask me to bake it again and again… Very delucious .thank u so much for this Beautiful recipe

  • Shalini says:

    Please give the measurements of ingredients in the video also….

  • Celia says:

    Can we reduce the confectioner sugar? And i don’t have apple sauce.what can i replace?

  • Amber says:

    Can u send this recipe to my email plz

  • Winnie says:

    Looks delish!! Can we follow the same recipe when making cupcakes and if so about how many do you think it will make? Thanks

  • Michele says:

    My husband cannot have nuts. Is there anything I can sub with?

    • Amanda says:

      You can leave them out. 🙂

  • Kevin says:

    This carrot cake is spectacular. The pineapple keeps the cake exceptionally moist. The nuts a d raisins give is a hearty texture and, with the nutmeg, add a nice complexity of flavor.

    Better than most bakery carrot cakes.

  • Nana Bressey says:

    I have fallen in love with your recipes. Please I need your book

  • Judy Williams says:

    I tried this carrot cake and I am hook on it thanks very much

  • Cecilia says:

    Love your recipes. Where can I find your book

  • Elysse says:

    Can you leave out the pineapple

  • Sonia John says:

    Hello Amanda,
    How do i make the pepper cake and carrot cake vegan i mean without eggs.

  • Renee Stanley says:

    When I use walnuts in a cake I always crush one third as this releases the oils and enriches the flavour.

  • Melissa Goh says:

    Hi, there! I baked this carrot cake yesterday and I reduced 3/4 cup of sugar. The cake texture is moist. I really in love your recipe! I’m definitely gonna bake another one. Thank you for the recipe!

  • Mish says:

    Made this yesterday and it was simply delicious! Didn’t have raisins and pineapple but the cake was still moist enough. The spice balance is divine 😋 Thanks Amanda!!!

  • Rachel says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe.i will honestly say… Awesome… Spectacular…I made my carrot cake good not dry moisty tasty and the pineapple helps to give good taste ….again thank you for sharing your recipe…

  • Leslie says:

    This cake was definitely delicious! Carrot cake is my husband’s favorite. I made it for him for Valentine’s Day. He loves it! Does it need to be refrigerated? Thank you so much for the great recipe!

  • Paula Klubertanz says:

    Love these different cakes💝💝💝 Sure would like to try one or two—-need bigger typing to copy recipes please!❤ Thank you💝💝💝

  • Christine Martin says:

    When omitting pineapple should I add a 1/4 cup more oil or a 1/4 more of the total amount of oil?

  • Diane says:

    This is the best carrot cake ever!

    I used crushed pineapple and added some of the juice, used hand grated whole carrots, and undercooked it by about 5 minutes. Next time I’ll use less powered sugar in the icing as I like a more cream cheese taste instead of sweet. I made it ahead of time and kept it in the fridge overnight and served it cold.

    This cake is so moist and flavorful and by far, my favorite.

  • Debra herrera says:


  • Janet says:

    Can this recipe be halved? Baked in 8×8 or 9×9 pan?

  • Diane Laskowski says:

    How long do you soak the raisins whether in
    rum or brandy?

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